Jim's Marketing Blog

Marketing ideas to help you grow your business

Category: Business Development (page 3 of 97)

7 Proven ways for you and your business to prosper

Here are 7 ideas, to help you and your business prosper.

  1. Work hard AND work smart. You need to do both.
  2. When you have an idea, capture it immediately. Write it down. Then, put it to work. This is what turns ideas into results.
  3. Instead of networking the way most business owners do, learn how to make extremely valuable business contacts instead. Here’s what you need to know.
  4. Increase your failure rate. If you’re not failing enough, it means you’re spending too much time in your comfort zone. If you want something you’ve never had before, you will need to do something you have never done before.
  5. Use your time wisely. Here’s how to get more done in less time.
  6. Do at least one thing every day, which will take your business in the direction of your major goal. If you build enough molehills, you end up with a mountain.
  7. Learn the basics of how to become a millionaire. I explained how in this article.

I hope you find these ideas useful, but more importantly, I hope you do something with them.

How to get what you want from your business

Sadly, most business owners fail to achieve their goals.

A key reason they fail, is that instead of doing one hundred percent of what’s required, they do one hundred percent of what they’re comfortable with.

One hundred percent

To give one hundred percent, is to give everything:

You can’t have what you want to have, without doing what you need to do.

The solution

The solution is always the same.

It’s as easy and as hard as this: Find what you’re avoiding, then summon the courage and knowledge to conquer it.

Listen up!

listen

It’s both easy and dangerous, to confuse silence with satisfaction.

Customers and clients who receive an average service, don’t shout about it. An average service isn’t good enough or bad enough, to motivate them to make a noise.

Silence and indifference

Silence is a sign of indifference… and indifferent people tend not to stick around for long.

If your clients, prospective clients, newsletter subscribers or blog readers, etc., don’t say too much, take heed.

How to attract attention and get people talking about your business!

This may be the most useful post I’ve written this year.

As regular readers will know, I often talk about the need for business owners to attract the attention of their marketplace and give them a story worth sharing. Well, I recently experienced a great example of how the process works.

I’m sharing it with you, because it’s so simple that anyone can learn the strategy, then think of ways to apply it into their business!

Here’s what happened.

How I attracted attention, started conversations and connected with people

I decided to have lunch at a coffee shop yesterday. While I was waiting for my lunch to arrive, I took my pen out and started jotting some ideas down. A customer sitting opposite me noticed I was using a fountain pen and commented on how rare it was, to see somebody using one. He asked me what I was writing and we chatted for a while, until the waitress arrived with my lunch.

The waitress heard us talking and said she loved the look of my fountain pen, before asking me if she could try it. I said yes and she remarked on how different it felt, compared to writing with a normal ballpoint pen. As she walked back to the kitchen, I overheard one of her colleagues asking what she was doing, so she told him. The story was spreading.

Here’s the thing: Imagine I’d been using a regular ballpoint pen to write my ideas down. If I had, none of those conversations or connections would have happened. The guy opposite would have just carried on drinking his coffee and Chloe, the waitress, would have served me, smiled and walked away.

The ballpoint business approach

By default, the average business is average. They are the commercial equivalent of a ballpoint pen. Reliable, yet unremarkable. So, they find it extremely hard to attract people’s attention. Instead, they push a ballpoint pen message, which people are not interested in.

This would be like me sitting in the coffee shop ASKING people to notice me. Instead of attracting attention and engaging people, those same people would have actively avoided me.

Yet, that is exactly how the average business is marketed. Instead of attracting attention, they pester people with an uninspiring, predictable story.

Copy the strategy, not the tactics!

If you are finding it hard to attract the attention of your ideal profile of client, consider adopting the fountain pen strategy. In other words, make at least one meaningful improvement to what you do. As you can see from my example, the key is to do something, which people notice AND want to talk about.

Here’s a tip — Don’t copy the tactics of another provider, who is standing out. However, by all means, copy their strategy!

Think of it like this: If someone copied my tactics and went into that same coffee shop today using a fountain pen, she would attract far less attention. The next person after her with a fountain pen, would attract almost no attention at all. However, anyone copying my strategy, “to do something interesting, which people will notice and talk about”, can attract just as much positive attention, make just as many connections and have just as many people sharing their story.

Yes it takes effort and creativity to build your own strategy, using the fountain pen approach to business. However, it’s the only way to avoid  being yet another invisible, boring, ballpoint business.

If you want to attract the right kind of attention, connect with new clients and give the marketplace a story about your business, which they will want to share, I can help – read this.

Photos: What everyone needs to know about ageing online

Tammy was shocked when she emailed me today.

She explained that she had been following a business expert on Twitter for years. Then today, he suddenly aged by around 15 years!

15 years older in just 24 hours

Of course, the guy is just a day older today, than he was yesterday. The thing is, he’d been using the same photo on his online profiles for the past decade and, apparently, it was a few years old when he started using it. Yesterday, he decided to update his profile photo and like all of us, he looks very different than he did back in the late 1990′s.

He has told his Twitter followers he needed to change the photo, as he was tired of people not knowing who he was, when he met them face to face for the first time.

[I wrote about ageing online here: To age online or not to age, that is the question!]

The issue this guy now has, is that his brand is strongly associated with an image, which no longer exists. By failing to invest in a professional logo and failing to update his profile photo every year or two, he’s facing a totally unnecessary challenge.

We all get older

However, until recently, business owners were connected to people who either saw them pretty regularly or who were seeing them for the first time.

In the digital age, we are represented online by photographs, which are a snapshot of how we looked when the photo was taken. If these are seldom updated, we risk facing the same problem the business expert now has.

Keep people in the picture

If you do not already, consider updating your profile photos and avatars every year or so.

Even better, invest in a professional logo and use the logo alongside your picture. This allows you to change your photo, with the continuity of your branding intact.

Tip: Here’s a great video about what makes a logo memorable and valuable!

So, who are your next 10 clients?

Your next 10 clients will usually be a lot like the previous 10. They will pay you a similar fee, have similar requirements and expect a similar level of service too.

That’s great news if you already attract high value, high profit clients. It’s not such great news, if you tend to attract fee sensitive, average clients.

How to build a highly valuable client list

If you want to build a more valuable client list, start today by getting specific about the type of clients you want to work with. When you have done that, consider the following:

  • What level of service do these higher quality clients expect? Do some research. Find out what they want from a provider in your industry.
  • Next, build a level of service, which over-delivers on what they expect. By exceeding their expectations, you will have a vastly more powerful proposition to offer them — something that will earn their attention and interest.
  • Are you prepared to execute on this strategy, in order to build a massively more valuable client base? Nothing I have mentioned so far is difficult to do. However, putting it into play requires courage. It means leaving the failing familiar.

As service providers, we have the freedom to choose who we work with. Deliberately selecting the kind of clients we want, in advance, is the key to building a highly valuable client base.

In every sense, it pays to choose wisely.

How to get your marketing noticed by the right people

If you want to enjoy better response rates from your marketing messages, you need to know 2 things.

  1. Your prospective clients have never had so many people, fighting for their attention. Whether they are at work, at home or on the move, their computers, phones and tablets are feeding them endless notifications.
  2. You need to understand how they cope with all those messages. They actually do the same as you — They filter out the noise and focus their attention on those they can trust.

So, adding to the noise is not going to help you.

Earning the trust of your marketplace is a far better strategy.

Here’s something for you to think about

If building trust was the foundation of your marketing messages, how would it improve the way your marketplace feels about you and your business?

Tip: Here’s how to create marketing, which people want to receive.

How to be an overnight success

overnight success

Here are some proven examples, of how to be an overnight success.

  • Angry Birds creator Rovio became an overnight success, after 51 less successful games, 8 years of hard work and almost going bankrupt.
  • Harry Potter author JK Rowling, became an overnight success in 1997… though she started writing fantasy stories as a child, more than 20 years earlier.
  • The Beatles become an overnight success, after playing more then 1000 gigs.
  • The fastest selling Kickstarter book ever, was written by Seth Godin. Most people say it took around 3 hours. Godin said it took around 8 years. That’s how long it took him, writing blog posts almost every day, to build a big enough community to reach his Kickstarter target in 3 hours.

The overnight success formula

So, here’s how to be an overnight success in 2 steps:

  1. Choose the date you want your overnight success to happen.
  2. Work hard for years, leading up to that date.

Be extremely cautious of anyone suggesting otherwise.

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